When I first heard about the nesting instinct, I thought it was utterly bogus. Just another lame excuse for cleanliness freaks to validate their obsessive compulsiveness. It’s not surprising since pregnant women have all sorts of incredible terms for strange compulsions.
Wikipedia explains nesting as “an instinct or urge in pregnant animals to prepare a home for the upcoming newborn”. In humans, it is commonly characterized by a strong urge to clean and organize one’s home. Great, now I’m having the same primal instincts as rodents.
Seeing that I have no qualms subscribing to the philosophy of maintaining an organized mess in my home, I thought I’d escape the nesting instinct by sheer rationality.
*Phew, my superior brains are one-up over the common mammals.
I draw the line at living like a slob, but in general, I’m ok with stuff like rolling my laundry up into little balls and stuffing them in the cabinets. As a rule of thumb, as long as the common areas are neat and tidy, hidden mess does not qualify as mess. (In philosophy, it’s the falling tree in the deserted woods theory – if no one is there to witness it, it technically does not exist)
Which is why I was totally caught by surprise when the nesting instinct kicked in. Against my better judgment, I found myself having the need to organize and reorganize every little thing at home. It was pretty mild when I was pregnant with Tru (maybe it’s a boy thing), but with Kirsten, I’m unstoppable. It’s like an itch that I have to scratch.
With 9 weeks to go, I’ve repacked the nursery about 4 times. Each time, I would dig out all her clothes, re-iron them, re-fold them into neat little stacks (in exact dimensions) and place them back in the wardrobe, only to repeat the process all over again. I’ve arranged all her diapers with the precision of a neurosurgeon and practically sterilized the entire room.
The bizarre thing about the nesting instinct is that it just completely disappears the moment the baby is born. Within a week after Tru’s birth, I was back to the ball-rolling thing. Believe me, with a newborn, there was barely enough time to take a full crap, much less organize stuff.
But for now, I can’t help myself. Apparently, my super brains aren’t so superior after all.